16/09/2019 11:53 BST

Christopher Eccleston Says He Was 'Very Ill' With Anorexia During Doctor Who Stint

"People love the way I look in that series, but I was very ill," the actor writes in his new autobiography.

Christopher Eccleston has spoken for the first time about his struggles with the eating disorder anorexia, revealing he was particularly affected by it during his tenure on Doctor Who.

In 2005, Christopher made his debut as The Doctor when the beloved BBC sci-fi show was rebooted, but stepped down after one series.

In excerpts from his upcoming autobiography I Love The Bones Of You, the actor reveals there have been “many times” when he’s wanted to share publicly that he is a “lifelong anorexic and dysmorphic”.

I never have,” he writes, according to The Independent. “I always thought of it as a filthy secret, because I’m northern, because I’m male and because I’m working-class.”

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Christopher Eccleston

He also says: “The illness is still there raging within me as the Doctor. People love the way I look in that series, but I was very ill.

“The reward for that illness was the part. And therein lies the perpetuation of the whole sorry situation.”

In his book, Christopher also discloses that while filming the BBC series The A Word he began to contemplate suicide, having been diagnosed with clinical depression in 2015. 

Christopher as seen in The A Word

He recalls: “[I was] convinced I was either going to die or I was going to kill myself. In my despair I reached for my phone and looked up a psychiatric hospital, I rang ahead, grabbed my bag and ran.”

Since stepping down from Doctor Who, Christopher has spoken unfavourably about his time on the show, accusing the BBC of “blacklisting” him last year, going on to reveal he “took them to court” over the way his exit was handled.

Christopher Eccleston’s autobiography is released on Thursday 19 September.

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